Field Restoration 2010.02.19

Brewster DNR cleared invasive locust trees and worked to restore a former field on the Hawks Nest Farm property in West Brewster on Friday with the help of our volunteers and AmeriCorp.

The former Ellis pig farm in West Brewster has a pasture/field that was the subject of an AmeriCorp project back in year one, some 10 plus years ago.  Since that project, the field has grown back up, and the field has shrunk dramatically.  Without active management, field habitat adjoining woodlots will rapidly become just more of the forest.  Our goal is to provide a 2 acre field of native vegetation as wildlife cover, habitat, and food source.

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On Friday, nine AmeriCorp volunteers, DPW staff, and DNR staff and volunteers converged on the old field.  We cleared and stacked numerous locust, pitch pine, and other trees from the field; removed old fenceposts and barbed wire; removed a former irrigation system, and cut the field using the DNR tractor. 

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DPW was there with a backhoe and truck to pull stumps from the field area.  We pulled the stumps for two reasons; one; because the locust trees will sprout back and spread from the root system, and two, to facilitate our annual mowing to maintain the field and keep woody vegetation down.

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We'll return soon to chip the various piles of brush, continue to pull more stumps, and to remove two dilapidated buildings formerly used to house the animals at the farm.  We will also work to remove the former well at the property and check for the presence of invasive or non-native plant species.

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